Close up of a basketball white line, between two areas colored in green and red, found under a puddle

How to Make a DIY Backyard Basketball Court

Those who have a backyard can take advantage of it and turn it into a great area for fun and relaxation. Most people choose to have a DIY backyard playground for their kids, but why not add something fun for the adults as well? Today we are going to focus on a DIY backyard basketball court that can offer some fun for the entire family.

Side shot of a basketball court where several adults are playing

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How to Have Your Own DIY Backyard Basketball Court

1. Choose the Size

Usually, people don’t have enough space to decide whether they want a huge basketball court or a small one. You will need to adapt to what you have, and sometimes this means installing a basketball hoop in your driveway, for example. According to the NBA and NCAA regulations, a basketball court should be 94×50 ft. large. Meanwhile, a high school court only measures 84 ft. in length. There are a couple of things you should consider when deciding on how big should your DIY backyard basketball court be:

  • Make sure there is enough space beyond boundaries. Otherwise, your players might step off of the slab;
  • Add a basketball hoop pier footing;
  • Decide if you want to install ramps to the court surface;
  • Use an online app to figure out how large your slab should be (VersaCourt Designer, GameCourt Court Builder, FlexCourt Court Designer, etc.).
  • Pay attention to the space between the court and your house windows;
  • Use a flat surface to make it all easier.

2. Buy the Hoops

Now that you decided on building your dedicated court, you should also get some dedicated goals. It is recommended to cement them into the ground. A great idea is to choose some that have adjustable heights. If you want to have a full DIY backyard basketball court, then you will need to buy two of them.

3. Mark the Size

Use four stakes and mark the size of your court with the help of a tape measure. If you have one, you can also use a surveying level. Get some rope and tie it around the stakes to see exactly where your court will be. However, make sure there is enough space outside the boundaries as well since players will be stepping off the court often. After all, you wouldn’t want to step outside and fall into a pit of mud for example, right?

4. Level the Field

Without getting metaphorical, it’s important to have a level playing field. Before getting down to building your DIY backyard basketball court, it’s important to clear out the area. Take out any debris or plants you may have and level it. This means you will need to take the dirt from the higher areas and move it to the lower ones. When you’re done, check if it’s all smooth and remember to pack it down.

5. Choosing the Foundation

There are various options which you can choose when building your foundation. Let’s have a look at three of the most popular ones:

Concrete

It’s the best choice you can make when it comes to building the foundation for your basketball court. It’s true, it can be quite expensive, but it’s the best idea in the long run. You have two options, either you pour the concrete yourself or you use a concrete pad.

If you decide to pour it yourself, you need to pay attention to a couple of details:

  • Make sure you have at least 36 hours of dry weather to let the concrete set;
  • Install the pole hoops 1 – 2 ft. into the ground and set them into place with concrete;
  • According to the regulations, the height should be 10 ft. from the ground up until the top of the rim.

Alternatively, you can hire a cement company that can do it all for you. You can even ask them to put up the hoops, as well as the post sleeves.

If you don’t want to pour the foundation yourself, you can use a regular concrete pad designed for a basketball court. It’s a 4” pad that includes saw cut expansion joints, as well as steel reinforced rebar. In this case, you should keep in mind that the concrete must be level and must have a minimal slope.

Asphalt

Some people prefer an asphalt pad instead of a concrete one. It’s quite a popular option since it’s usually cheaper than the concrete alternative. Just like we mentioned earlier, you need to make sure the asphalt is level. Besides, check the minimal slope. Finally, it should have a smooth finish, without any large aggregates.

Compacted Stone

If you’re on the look for less expensive solutions, this is another one to consider. The thing with this third option is the fact that it requires some maintenance from time to time. For example, you need to backfill and re-compact it after some years. However, it’s perfect if you have limited access to your backyard.

At the same time, you should choose a compacted stone option if you have impervious cover restrictions or if you plan to remove the court at some point. Use timbers or other forms for containing the court. In this way, you can prevent erosion from appearing. When you have finished the base, cover it up with some landscape or geotextile fabric to keep weeds and dust at bay.

Stamped Concrete, Wood Patio, Patio Pavers

These three materials are not recommended at all for using as a foundation for your DIY backyard basketball court. The main reason is that usually the surface is uneven or there are gaps between the pavers or planks. Wooden decks have the same problem because of the warping material.

6. Painting the Lines

Once again, there are two options when you want to paint the lines for your DIY backyard basketball court. You can either buy a stenciling kit or do it by hand. With the stenciling kit, things are quite simple since you just need to follow the instructions on it. However, if you want to do it all by hand, you need to paint these lines:

  • The free-throw lane (12×19 ft.);
  • The free-throw line (15 feet from the center of the hoop, 12 ft. long);
  • The center line (from one side to the other, right in the middle);
  • Out-of-bounds line (2-3 inches thick, around the entire court).

7. Add Some Surfacing

Even though this step isn’t compulsory, it is recommended to add some surfacing. People who involve kids in all sorts of DIY backyard games know that it’s important to protect them from rough surfaces. A concrete foundation may be quite dangerous, especially if you have young children. Luckily, there are plenty of options available on the market: modular suspended tile surfacing (pre-painted, resistant to cars for the driveway), custom floors, asphalt or rubber flooring.

8. Add Accessories

The last thing you need to do when you’re done with installing your own DIY backyard basketball court is to add some accessories. You can paint your own logo if you have one, for instance, or color the entire court. There are even some containment fences which you can use. However, pay attention since some fences require to be installed when pouring the concrete. It’s better to decide on all the details before getting down to building the actual court to avoid any surprises. Finally, hang the nets, get a ball and find a name for your own home team.

9. Check the Safety

Many people try to obtain the best results with little money. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the problem here is when you compromise about safety. Some try to pour the concrete for the foundation themselves, without knowing anything about it. This might be dangerous if you don’t do it correctly. At the same time, installing the hoop or other elements, such as fences, incorrectly can also lead to other problems. And if you plan on playing basketball with your kids, it’s important to check every little thing.

Useful Tips and Tricks

1. Estimate the Cost

Before starting planning the DIY backyard basketball court, it’s useful to estimate the cost first. In this way, you can see what kind of materials and accessories you can afford.

2. Don’t Forget about the Lights

An important accessory you need to include are the lights. These will be useful if you want to play during the evening or even at night. Of course, they aren’t essential and you can postpone installing them for a while if you care about your budget.

3. Be Flexible

Once you’ve built the foundation (with or without any surfacing), you can be flexible and use it for other games as well. A comfortable surfacing can allow children to sit and play on the ground, for example. You can also install a tennis net and play other games. The possibilities are endless, you just need to use your creativity. You can even ask your kids to come up with some ideas for your DIY backyard basketball court.

Conclusion

Despite being quite easy to set up, having your own DIY backyard basketball court can still dig a hole in your budget. For this reason, it’s recommended you read carefully the instructions above and consider the costs. Naturally, the latter can vary a lot depending on the area you live in, the companies nearby, their services, etc. Nevertheless, your children will be happy to have their own basketball court, set up teams, play in mini-championships, etc.

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Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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